Johnes, instrumentation superintendent, started as an instrument repairer in 1979 after a stint in the U.S. Navy and employment with a company in Cairo, Ill., that designed and repaired large cooling systems. At New Madrid Power Plant he progressed to journeyman, was promoted to supervisor in 1981 and in 1992 became superintendent.
Johnes and his crew of 11 worked on projects to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of the plant's two generating units, such as implementation of the primary operating control system for the plant and new systems for ash handling, emissions control and the pumps that supply water to the boilers.
During his career, Johnes received three of the cooperative's Excel Awards that recognize outstanding employee achievements. Nominated by his co-workers, Johnes received awards for Distinguished Service in 2006, Outstanding Community Service in 2002 and Supervisor of the Year in 1997. He plans to pursue his love of scuba diving and collecting radio-controlled equipment and miniature trains.
Meier retires as a maintenance planner. He planned routine and outage maintenance schedules for anything mechanical, such as turbines, pumps, motors and material-handling equipment in the coal yard.
In his retirement, Meier plans to develop 15 acres of Trammette and Chambourcin grapes into a vineyard that will supply River Ridge Winery near Commerce with high-quality, locally grown grapes. "I always thought vineyards were a beautiful and bountiful crop, and they've been something that sparked my interest," he said.
Pobst started as a journeyman mechanic in 1978, working in the coal yard where coal was moved from river barges to be crushed and sent to the power plant. Through the years, Pobst took additional heavy equipment, machinist and welding training, progressing to journeyman machinist/mechanic and journeyman welder/mechanic. In 1995 he became a journeyman equipment repairman and in 2005 he was promoted to mechanical maintenance supervisor. His crew was responsible for maintaining mechanical systems, including crushers and turbines.
Speaking about his years as a supervisor, Pobst said, "I didn't expect those guys to do anything I didn't do. … I treated them like I wanted to be treated. That's the only way to get good work done."
Pobst attended Bailey Technical School in St. Louis after high school, and after a stint in the Navy he worked as a boat diesel mechanic for companies in Paducah, Ky., and Cape Girardeau.
In 1997, Pobst was part of the coal yard maintenance crew that was recognized by fellow plant employees for accomplishments beyond the normal call of duty. The team received the cooperative's Excel Team of the Year Award for its ability to improve efficiency of the plant's coal-handling equipment.
Since retiring, Melvin and his wife have traveled to Michigan and Colorado and are preparing for additional trips. He also plans to spend more time with a Corvette and a 1923 Ford Roadster he takes to car shows.